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Topics addressed on February 20, 2008:
Truncating Social Security numbers on Experian credit reports
I was told to request that my reports do not include the first five digits of my Social Security number. Should I do this, and if so, what is the process?
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) is best known for making one free report available to everyone once a year. But it also did a number of other things, among them giving you the ability to ask that the first five digits of your Social Security number be truncated when the report is disclosed to you.
But you do not need to make the request at Experian. A number of years ago Experian began removing your correct Social Security number entirely when we send a report to you because of concern about the risk it could pose when we delivered your report. Clearly, you knew your correct Social Security number when you requested the report, so there was no reason to repeat it on the report we sent.
So, on your Experian report there is nothing to truncate.
Experian does include other Social Security numbers that are reported to it as belonging to you so that you have a record of the variations. I discuss that at length in my response to ATR in this column.
The policies of the other national credit reporting companies may be different, so you should contact them separately to verify their processes.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team